A new, compulsory verification system for Overwatch 2 is excluding huge swathes of players because it’s incompatible with pay-as-you-go or pre-paid mobile phones.
Speaking about the new system for Battle.net, Blizzard explained that: “This additional layer of security is an industry-proven solution in combating both cheating and disruptive behaviour, further protecting your Overwatch 2 experience from bad actors.”
The same announcement goes on to explain that “the same phone number cannot be used on multiple accounts at the same time, and players can’t use the same phone number to create multiple accounts. A phone number can only be used once when making a new account, and certain types of numbers, including pre-paid and VOIP (Internet based telephone services), cannot be used for SMS Protect.”
This means several players are unable to get their accounts verified leaving them unable to play Overwatch 2 when it launches next week, with several posts on Reddit detailing their frustrations.
Overwatch 2 is free but people need to get a post-paid mobile number to play it??? You need to pay for a monthly phone service plan to play a free game???
Please tell me I'm wrong.
— breikka✏️ (@breikka) September 27, 2022
Other issues with the Overwatch 2 verification system include an inability to change countries once you’ve registered (“When I got the game, I was in one EU country and now live in another. They don’t let you switch countries or enter other country’s number,” wrote one user) as well as issues with actually registering the number.
“I tried to add my phone number to my account. I typed in the SMS code, but it says it’s in use already. I have never attached this phone number to any other account before, and this is the only account I have been using for 6 years. My current phone plan is not prepaid, so my only guess is the number was used a long time ago,” reads a post on the official Overwatch 2 forum (via PCGamesN).
Another user replied with a similar issue. “The problem I’ve had is the ‘add a phone number section in my account seems to just not work at all. It says it’s sending an SMS code to my phone for verification, but it never does. I’ve got a post-paid phone. I’m actually really excited to potentially see less smurf accounts and cheaters, but until it lets me actually add my number, I guess I’ll be spending time elsewhere.”
Overwatch 2 launches in early access on October 4.